The competition for index fund assets will be heating up in the next few months.

Barclays Global Fund Advisors, a unit of Barclays Global Investors of San Francisco, filed a registration statement with the SEC last month to offer 36 exchange-traded index funds. The new funds, which Barclays is calling iShares, for index shares, could be offered as early as March 1, according to the SEC filing.

A Barclays' spokesperson declined to comment on the filing, citing federal securities laws that limit public statements about an SEC filing until the SEC has approved the offering for sale.

The registration statement did not identify the expenses for the funds. The iShares will track broad and narrow stock market indexes, ranging from the S&P 500 to the Dow Jones Internet Index. All of the proposed funds have been approved for listing on the American Stock Exchange, according to the registration statement. Barclays had approximately $700 billion in assets under management as of Nov. 30, a spokesperson said.

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